They can then use this information when not in a group setting and apply it to other courses or experiences in life where they are charged with the task of comprehending reading materials.
Pearson, David. (2002) Handbook of reading research Vol 1. Westport: Lawrence
The authors created this book as a reference trade book that provides educators with information on the history of reading as well as information on reading research. The objective is to provide the classroom teacher with multiple strategies and methods they can use to promote reading for beginning readers that are at grade level, below grade level and beyond grade level. The first part of the work provides "how to" advice according to the authors, noting specific elements educators must consider while they plan to implement various reading strategies in the classroom. The next section of the work talks about basic processes in reading, which include reading comprehension, phonetics, language acquisition and related issues. The objective here is to provide the teacher with a better understanding of what it takes to teach early readers not just how to read, but also how to apply what they read to the real world and to their personal experiences. The last portion of the material introduced the educator to specific instructional practices related to reading. Here the reader will find reviews of research that focus on instructional methods in reading. The goal is to provide as the authors state, teachers with "landing areas" (p.xxi) they can use when under time constraints that contain a wealth of strategies one can easily compile into a reading lesson plan for the day. The book provides many "jump off" or starting points an educator can use to initiate conversation on the subject of reading. Features that are helpful in the trade book include information on the different styles of writing adopted by many popular authors often used in reading assignments for the beginning and the advanced reader. A discourse on creating what the author refers to "consistent structure" is also included at the start of every chapter to provide the educator with a solid theoretical framework from which they can direct and guide their reading education. Complicated methods including a discourse on metacognition are included to encourage the teacher to think outside of the box when approaching learning. The goal is as most of the books so far, to promote literacy in content rich areas.
Paris, S. & Steven, Stahl. (2004) Current issues in reading comprehension and assessment. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
This trade work encourages literacy in content areas by focusing on contributions various researchers have made to the field of reading research. The objective of the work is to convince educators that reading comprehension should be "at the top of scholarly agenda" for all people interested in reading research (p. 1). Further, the volume provides a wealth of information on classic reading methods championed in the late 1980s through the present. Many consider this trade book a "classic" that is critical for any educator interested in updating their theoretical and "empirical knowledge of the essential cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension" (p. 1). The work also provides many well-developed activities teachers can use as instructional activities when promoting reading comprehension in the classroom. Basic processes in reading comprehension are talked about, as are instructional practices. Finally, the authors focus on reading comprehension assessment, talking about how teachers can go about decoding basic reading skills and what strategies or tools they can use to assess reading "fluency" in the classroom. This is followed by a discourse on what steps teachers can make to address problems that may contribute to poor reading comprehension following assessment.
The individual using this guidebook will have no trouble using it for the beginning or advanced reader, and may even apply many of the strategies contained in this work to special needs students or students that need extra help with reading comprehension. The book leads with a brief synopsis of historical and theoretical foundations of reading and reading comprehension.
Rasinski, T. (2000) Effective reading strategies, 2nd edition: Teaching children who find reading difficult. Merrill Publishing Company.
In this text, the authors encourage teachers to actively search for students that are having trouble reading. The strategies adopted suggest teachers should identify the individual needs of students. This will require teachers to single out students that have trouble reading and find out what is necessary to motivate them. The authors suggest teacher's can then translate this information into strategies that will improve literacy. Teachers should according to the authors, also look at the many reasons successful students are successful, and consider adopting the tactics successful students use and apply them to students that have difficulty with reading, whether that trouble is related to motivation, poor literacy skills or reading comprehension.
Smith, F. (2003) Unspeakable acts, unnatural practices: Flaws and fallacies in Scientific" reading instruction. New York, Heinemann.
In this book the author discusses many beginning and advanced reader concepts. These include a discourse on basic phonics and pronunciation, a discussion of phonemes and their prevalence as well as meaning, and encourages the teacher to promote "balanced reading" so the students in the classroom can understand language as a "whole language" rather than understand language in bits and pieces. The author wars against instituting reading skills tests or evaluations on the basis of potentially "imbalanced" scientific research. According to the author, much of the information presented in empirical research on children's reading comprehension and acquisition may be faulty or incorrect. For this reason the author encourages a balanced reading approach, so the student has an opportunity to explore many different types and kinds of reading. The student should also be encouraged according to Smith, to adopt multiple reading strategies so they may find the strategy most likely to help them comprehend complex assignments. The student also must according to the author, learn about phonology to understand and comprehend the study of phonemes. Phonology per the author has to do with studying speech sounds, and the patterned interactions used to create specific sounds. For example, the letter C. may be hard or soft depending on the context in which it is used as well as the letters before or after the letter C. The author encouraged diverse learning that considers foreign languages and the complex possible sounds other languages use to create words and meaning. The phoneme is described as the way our minds comprehend and then interpret sound in a predictable way, based on multiple different possibilities. Phonemes derive from the allophone which is a variant or different mental representation of sound for a specific letter, like the letter C. The study of phonemes as described by the author is critical to the beginning learner because it teaches him or her how to create complex words and meaning by combining single letters. Most early learners do not learn how to create sound in quite this way. Rather, they attempt to discern meaning by looking at more than one unit of sound, which can become tedious and complicated.
Taylor, B.M. & Pearson, D. (2002) Teaching reading: Effective schools, accomplished teachers. Mahwah, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
This book is very different from all others reviewed. Rather than focusing on learning and teaching theories, the book suggests that literacy in the content area for beginning learners, for learners with problems and for advanced learners can all improve if more accomplished teachers are hired to work in more efficient schools. The author focuses on the many problems currently present in the educational system including lack of funding. The idea is that accomplished teachers are teachers that bring with them their own strategies and ideas about reading and the acquisition of literacy skills, and then work with individual students to discern what teaching strategies would work best to help students learn to love reading and excel in reading by adopting one of the many strategies these teachers would have.
Verhoeven, L. & Snow, C. (2001) Literacy and motivation: Reading engagement in individuals and groups. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
In this amazing work, the authors attempt to address the methods teachers may use to inspire their students to adopt a love of reading. The authors attempt to address the concept of "literacy and motivation" where they suggest it is possible to bridge "cognitive and sociocultural" viewpoints about learning to read and loving reading. The primary idea is to help teachers adopt methods and models that will promote a love of reading, and this in turn according to the authors, will assist beginning learners or those that are struggling with reading to change their view on reading so they begin reading books because they want to, not because they have to.
The authors suggest literacy in the content areas will improve if parents become more hands-on in the learning process. The authors suggest teachers should provide reading assignments that children can fulfill at home with the assistance of their parents. This can be done…